How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help. Part 2 of an Interview with Dr. Ed Schein
In our last episode I started an interview with Dr. Ed Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at MIT and author of fourteen business books, including The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. Make sure to listen to that episode if you happened to miss it.
In this second part of the interview, we turn our attention to Ed's seminal yet highly practical book entitled Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help. Ever wonder why some people find it difficult to ask for help, even when they are "spinning their wheels" with the project tasks? Or why some people just won't take you up on offers to help, even when it's desperately needed?
In this interview Ed helps us understand the surprisingly complex dynamics around giving and receiving help. I strongly recommend you get a copy of Ed's books we discuss in these two episodes.
I invite you to join me next time when I interview Dr. Allen Cohen, author of the acclaimed book Influence Without Authority. Part of the complexity of projects today relates to the fact that many of us have the responsibility to deliver the projects yet don't have authority over all the people we must depend on. Increasingly project success depends on relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, and our ability to influence those people—even when we don't have authority over them—is critical. I look forward to sharing that interview with you.
Thanks for checking out our new podcast website at www.peopleandprojectspodcast.com. I invite you to let me know what you think about it! Thanks for joining us for this episode! Have a great week!
Corporate Culture Survival, with Sloans Fellow Professor of Management Emeritus, Dr. Ed Schein
It happens regularly... my phone rings, I pick it up, and on the other end I'm talking with someone who's inquiring about bringing us in to deliver a keynote for a company event or training for their organization.
My first response is not whether I'm available on the dates they're looking for. My first questions are designed to help me understand the problems they're trying to solve.
Once I have a good sense of the issues they want to address, I inevitably ask a critical, open-ended question: "Tell me about the culture of your organization?"
How would you respond to that question? How would you describe your company's culture? Or the culture of your team? How about the project culture at your company--how things get done?
This is what I've found: understanding organizational culture is critical to being able to deliver projects and lead teams. If I don't have a decent idea of the culture I'm walking into for a keynote, workshop, or coaching session, I flat out won't be effective. It would be like walking in and finding that everyone speaks a foreign language.
Dr. Ed Schein is a world renowned MIT professor and expert on organizational culture, and has authored fourteen business books, including The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. When it comes to knowing how to get things done in a company, Ed is one of my heroes, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to speak with him recently. This episode contains the first part of my discussion with Dr. Schein, with the remaining to be included in the next cast.
Hey, I want to invite you to check out our new People and Projects Podcast website! Check us out at www.peopleandprojectspodcast.com. I would love your feedback on the site!
While you're at it, would you take a moment to tell a friend about this podcast? I would love to have the opportunity to help develop your friends and colleagues who have a desire to successfully deliver projects and lead teams.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!
I love helping project managers get their PMP certification. For those of you who have completed that journey, you know it's a lot of work! There are plenty of you listening who have been putting it off and would benefit from taking action on that this year.
But what about once you get the certification? You enthusiastically cross the finish line and are awarded with... the need to get PDU's to retain your certification!
If you have a plan, getting your required continuing education credits is not that big of a challenge. But waiting until the end of your three year term is not a good plan.
This cast is to help you put together a plan to get those PDU's, and you'll hear from the one and only Cornelius Fichtner, host of The Project Management Podcast. Cornelius will tell you about his favorite ways to get PDU's, including a new offering he's rolling out soon called The PDU Podcast.
And, hey, for those of you who have been putting off getting your certification, give me a call! If you're in the Chicago area I have a PMP Prep workshop on some selected Saturdays over the next two months. As of the recording date, there are still 3 slots open. You can reach me toll-free at 866-884-5323.
If you can't attend the class, here's another idea! One of my favorite recommendations for helping aspiring project managers to get their certification is The PMP PrepCast, also from our friend Cornelius. It's one of the best values for the dollar to help you pass the exam.
Here's the situation... you're responsible for delivering a project. Your boss comes in today and announces that senior management has decided that you must deliver your project 4 weeks earlier than originally planned.
You know that the project is already carrying a lot of risk, and cutting 4 more weeks seems completely unrealistic, at least from your perspective. Yet it also appears, from your perspective, that speaking up or pushing back could be job risking. They aren't looking for your input--they're looking for you to deliver on the demand.
Whether you are a project manager or responsible for leading a team, we are regularly faced with situations that require us to influence others. Yet here's my observation: influence skills are one of the most under-trained areas for many people today. It's almost as if we think influence training is for salespeople or lawyers or "those people over in procurement."
We all can benefit from developing our influence skills. One of my favorite influence books in the last couple years is entitled Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. I had the opportunity recently to speak with the co-author of Yes!, Steve Martin, and look forward to your feedback on the interview in this cast. By the way, you'll hear Steve share his thoughts on how to deal with that boss with unrealistic timeframes!
If you are interested in developing the influence skills of your project managers, team leads, or other organizational leaders, give us a call! Between keynotes, workshops, and executive coaching, we have a number of ways that we can help your leaders improve their influence skills. You can contact us toll-free at (866) 884-5323 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I invite you to join me in our next episode when I talk with Cornelius Fichtner, the host of The Project Management Podcast. For those of you who are certified PMP's and are interested in some helpful ways to get the required PDU's to maintain your certification, you particularly don't want to miss this episode!
You can receive notices of new podcast episodes via e-mail, allowing you to listen to them more conveniently and in a timely manner. Sign up here!
And, one last thing! Would you take a moment to let a friend or colleague know about The People and Projects Podcast? I'd love to pour into them as well, to help them lead people and deliver projects.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!
Project Management Beyond PMI, an interview with Bill Duncan, primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide
I have the real privilege of helping organizations around the world improve their ability to deliver projects and lead teams. In 2008 we added a PMP Exam Prep offering to our mix to help project managers who want to get their Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.
I have to say this while I can because it's only a matter of time before I won't be able to! So far, every one of our students who have attended our workshops and taken the PMP certification exam have passed! Now obviously I can't take too much credit for this track record because anyone who wants to pass the PMP exam must have a fair amount of experience to even apply. In addition, there's plenty of study required. That said, it's totally passable and we can help you.
If you are a project manager and haven't yet pursued certification, I strongly recommend you consider making it a goal for the coming year. Click here to learn more about PMP certification.
Now of course PMP certification is an obvious option, but did you know there are other well respected, if not as well known, project management certifications? In this cast you'll hear from Bill Duncan. If Bill's name isn't familiar, his work will be to many of you. Bill was the primary author of the original PMBOK® Guide and shares some helpful insights on certification and delivering successful projects.
To learn more about the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management and the certification Bill talks about in this cast, check out http://www.asapm.org/blog.
Would you like to help your organization improve its ability to deliver projects more reliably? Our project management series of workshops take well established project management practices and use proven adult learning methods to help you put them into action. Whether you're looking for certification for a selected group of PM's or helping your entire organization improve their project management competencies, our workshops and coaching can help you make a real improvement in the coming year.
And here's a New Year's gift for you! Book one or more workshops before the end of January 2010 and we'll reduce the cost by 20%. Contact me toll-free at (866) 88 I-LEAD (866-884-5323) to learn more.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! For my Jewish friends I trust you had a very Happy Hanukkah! And for my listeners celebrating Christmas this week, I wish you and those you love a very Merry Christmas! Have a great start to your New Year!
"PMI and PMP" are trademarks, service marks or certification marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc., which is registered in the United States and other nations. Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version) Less Bass by John Stebbe. Used under Creative Commons License Attribution-No Derivative Works 1.0 Generic
Take Back Your Life! An interview with author John Wittry
My middle son Zachary celebrates his 13th birthday later this month. Just this last week I was talking to a friend of his about the upcoming milestone. This friend, who is a couple years younger than Z, remarked, "Man, it seems like we just celebrated his birthday! Has another year gone by so quickly?"
Ever get that feeling, especially as we get close to the end of another year? How did this year go by so fast?
I had the opportunity to catch up with a close friend over a cup of coffee recently. He remarked that when he looked at the vice president level above him at his company, all he saw was more work, more stress, and less time with his family. Interestingly, he related "Most people at our company look up one level and say, 'You couldn't pay me enough to take that job! Life is too short!'"
Maybe you can relate. Either you're already experiencing that frantic pace or you look at the next level and agree that the price on your life isn't worth pursuing a promotion.
Certainly this reality hurts companies. They are losing leadership potential because they are losing perspective on what it means to allow people to live more balanced lives.
But my concern with this episode isn't your company. It's you. It's my friend, and it's me. How can we take back our life when it seems that the pace of life is taking it from us?
I was discussing this with my friend and colleague Kymme Lightfoot who is a consultant with McGhee Productivity Solutions. McGhee specializes in helping organizations with these very challenges and she hooked me up with partner John Witty. John is the author of Take Back Your Life! (Microsoft Press) and if you are looking for perspective to get a better handle on the demands of work and life, this episode's interview is especially designed for you.
Second, we have an audio CD entitled Beyond Time Management. The program is filled with practical lessons to help you get rid of piles at work and home, how to remember important things about people, how to stop forgetting things that need to be done, and much more. Listeners of this podcast can get 20% off by using a coupon code of "TAKETIME20" when ordering by 12/31/2009. Learn more at http://www.i-leadonline.com/BeyondTimeProduct.asp.
I invite you to join us in 2 weeks when you'll hear my interview with Bill Duncan. If his name isn't familiar, chances are his work is if you are a project manager. Bill was the primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide, and we'll talk about certification beyond just what the Project Management Institute offers.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Enjoy the discussion with John!
How to Know What You Don't Know, an interview with author Michael Roberto
I hear it all the time when people describe themselves in a work setting: "I'm a good problem-solver!" Are you a good problem-solver? I'm guessing you would say "Yes!"
Well, guess what? According to Michael Roberto, author of Know What You Don't Know, maybe we're all focusing on the wrong thing. According to Michael, it's not about becoming better problem-solvers. We need to be better problem finders!
I had the opportunity to catch up with Michael by phone recently and look forward to sharing that discussion with you in this cast.
Before we wrap-up, may I ask you a favor? I invite you to tell a friend or colleague about The People and Projects Podcast. I continue to be amazed at how many people still haven't started using podcasts as part of the professional development strategy. Send them a link or tell them how to find us on iTunes. Thank you very much!
Thanks for joining us for this episode. Enjoy the cast!
Managing Politics and Conflict in Projects, with author Brian Irwin, PMP
Hello! This is Andy Kaufman, President of the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc. Thank you for joining me on this episode of The People and Projects Podcast.
I'm over in Europe this week facilitating a project management workshop for a great international company. Though I'm thousands of miles from home in a culture and language that is notably different from my own, I find a couple things remain the same: if you want to deliver projects and lead teams anywhere in this world, you're going to have to deal with conflict and organizational politics.
It's just a reality of working with people.
When I think of politics with projects, I think of my colleague Brian Irwin, PMP. Brian is the author of Managing Politics and Conflict in Projects, published by Management Concepts and is a contributing author to the book The 77 Deadly Sins of Project Management (Management Concepts, 2009). I had the opportunity to talk with Brian recently and look forward to sharing that interview with you in this episode.
How well prepared are you to handle the conflicts that are facing you today? I find that too few leaders have sufficiently developed their ability to navigate the inevitable conflict that comes with their role.
Because of the popularity of our current promotion, I'm extending the discount on our conflict e-learning program. Just use a coupon code of OCT-ROCK-50OFF and you will get $50 off a license. Instead of $149, you can get your hands on this practical learning to help you manage conflict more effectively for only $99. This offer is valid through November 15, 2009. Have some left over training budget yet this year? Invest in your ability to navigate conflict. Contact me at email@example.com to learn more.
How about letting your friends and colleagues know about The People and Projects Podcast! Send them a link to our web page at www.i-leadonline.com/podcast, or have them look us up on iTunes! It would be a privilege for me to help develop their ability to lead and deliver as well.
Thank you for joining me today! Have a great week! We'll see you next time on The People and Projects Podcast!
Why New Systems Fail, an interview with author Phil Simon
Think about the last really big project you were involved with.... How would you describe how it went?
Smooth? Flawless? Exactly as planned?
That's not what I usually hear from customers and colleagues! Rather, I'm more apt to hear responses such as "Challenged", "Stressed", or "Lots of changes!"
We continue to learn so much about how to run projects and yet new projects--often those really large ones--continue to struggle.
In our project management workshops we spend extended time on those factors that most contribute to project success and failure to help arm project managers, sponsors, and team members. In this episode of the People and Projects Podcast, you'll hear from one my go-to people when it comes to understanding project success and failure: Phil Simon.
Phil has generously made 2 autographed copies of his book available for a drawing! Just send me an e-mail with your name and where you live. Put "Book drawing" in the subject of your e-mail and you'll automatically be entered into the drawing. On August 31 I'll select two names from those who respond.
Thank you for listening to the People and Projects Podcast! I invite you to tell your friends and colleagues about us. Some of the best free learning available these days is on podcasts, and it would be a real pleasure for me to share these interviews with those you know. You can subscribe to the People and Projects Podcast on iTunes by going to http://bit.ly/ppcast.